INDIANA (WEHT) – Some Indiana Democrats are accusing a local Republican state lawmaker of taking an illegal contribution from a straw donor.
The 8th District Democratic party wrote a letter to State Senator Mark Messmer of Jasper, the GOP majority floor leader. They say Messmer got $5,000 indirectly from a gambling industry executive named Kyle Waggoner, who has taken a plea deal in federal court to avoid felony charges. The Indy Star brought this story to light in recent reports.
Indiana law prohibits casinos and gambling industries from making political contributions. A straw donation involves a third party giving the money to skirt state laws.
The 8th District Democrats want Messmer to return the money if he hasn’t already and to recuse himself from all gambling matters in the upcoming legislative session. Eyewitness News reached out to Messmer for a response, but we have not heard back.